Dubai And The Globalization Of Blockchain Technology — And FinTech
Information technology continues to spread throughout the world, even as populist governments and politicians argue that nations just need to focus on their own country. Dubai has very aggressive plans to have 100 percent of applicable government services and transactions on blockchain by 2020 and bring along the private sector to work within the system. Dubai plans to be a hub of world trade and knows that information systems must be integral to such globalization setting a standard for others to follow.
Recently, I posted an article relating to a conference on Financial Technology (FinTech) held at MIT. In that post, I discussed the advancement of technology in the United States financial system and reported on how far behind many experts believe the American financial system is in introducing technology to the US economic system. An interesting thread running through many of the sessions at the conference was the mention of Dubai as a leader in the advancement of blockchain technology.
Blockchain technology uses a digital ledger system to efficiently share and track information related to contracts and transactions. The records of the system are permanent, verifiable, and secure. The Blockchain Technology is the technology used to support the digital currency bitcoin. It was surprising to me to see an article by Nikhil Lohade in the Wall Street Journal on the efforts being made to turn Dubai into a blockchain center.
Mr. Lohade quotes the group chief information officer at Emirates NBD, Dubai's largest bank, Ali Saywani:
"The aim is to replace paper-based contracts with smart contracts that will help reduce complex documentation for the tracking, shipping and movement of goods."
"We have a very clear objective to make Dubai the capital of the blockchain industry," says Aisha Bin Bishr, director general of Smart Dubai, a government office tasked with facilitating innovation in the emirate. "By 2020, we'll have 100 percent of applicable government services and transactions happen on blockchain."
Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member